Let’s figure this one out.
The past two off-seasons, I did posts about predicting what players would be part of that year’s Admirals squad. Most of my work was done with the long-gone and long-loved CapGeek, sorting out ELCs, AHL contracts, and other fringe NHLers that could make the squad at Scope. The ECHL is a different animal. While it touts itself as the “premier AA hockey league”, a good portion of the players are not signed to the big club.
Given the vertically integrated structure of the Oilers, this is not quite true. While ECHL contracts on the Ads will play for an Oilers-owned team, they’re not technically Edmonton Oilers players. With that said, the Oilers already have players in place with the Bakersfield Condors. Today, the Oilers submitted the list of players they would like to “protect” going forward to next season in Norfolk.
What is a protected player? Good question. According to this post from last year, it’s essentially a player that signed a Standard Player’s Contract (SPC) with the team the previous season (2014-15) and was not released or traded. Players who were extended a qualifying offer but did not sign an SPC with the team (or get released or traded) can also be protected; I imagine this is for players who decide to go overseas. Players who signed after the first day of the season, but then signed an AHL or NHL contract are also eligible, which is kind of weird. Players who are already signed to NHL and AHL contracts are not allowed to be protected. The four already-announced AHL signings by Bakersfield can not be protected, and they can be sent to the ECHL. Further, these teams can protect these players but they do not necessarily have to sign. Bakersfield protected Collin Bowman but he decided to sign with the Colorado Eagles. Bakersfield protected 20 players last year, most teams protect around 20 or 21.
The easiest way to do this is probably a list:
Sebastien Sylvestere LW
Rookie forward lead all Condors in scoring last year and signed an SPC that year. YES to protection.
Josh Currie C
2nd-year ECHLer, 2nd in club points, YES
Jonathan Lessard RW
2nd-year pro, based on this these three are the first line. Let’s go with YES
Chase Schaber C
Alternate captain last year, YES
Brendan Brooks RW
36-year-old left for Europe after a short but productive stint in Bako. Going to go with NO
Nick Pageau D
JG Pageau’s cousin is an alternate captain and lead D in scoring. YES
Nick MacNeil F
Older rookie had a nice season, YES
Ryan Watson F
Going to go with YES here.
Jordan Kremyr LW
Captain of your Norfolk Admirals? Either way, it’s a YES
Brendon Nash D
AHL vet should be a lock for YES
Michael Colavecchia F
Traded FROM Utah, but ended up in Norway. Still a YES, I think
Luke Judson F
Judson has signed in EIHL next year, so why protect him? Could see the team going yes, but I’ll say NO
Joe Marciano D
Team needs D. YES
Francis Verreaut-Paul RW
Didn’t play much and ended up in Switzerland. NO
Gabriel Verpaelst D
Rookie played 66 games. YES
Nick Zappia F
D3 player looks like a YES
Akim Aliu F
Former 2nd rounder looks for redemption, YES
Six more would make it 20. I’ll add Maxime Lagace, Gentry Zollars, Andrew Radjenovic, Cameron Abney, Austin Block, and Trevor Campbell. I’m probably wrong.